The founder members of The Ugly Guys — Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins — have been making music together since 1969, when they founded one of England’s first country rock bands Cow Pie. Paul and Vic went on to form The Kursaal Flyers in 1972 and were an integral part of the Pub Rock scene that was flourishing in the UK at that time. The Kursaals were one of the few bands to break out of the pub rock scene when in 1977 they enjoyed a hit single with their Phil Spectoresque pastiche ‘Little Does She Know’.
Fast forward to 2003, when a chance meeting led Paul and Vic to explore the prospect of forming a new band to play the cosmic country music they both loved. A call to guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Steve Oliver from Ipsissimus (which later became Jerry The Ferret: another part of pub rock’s backbone) quickly formed the nucleus of the new band, which they named The Ugly Guys, taking the moniker from a much-loved Kursaal Flyers song. Southend stalwart Bob Clouter (who had played with Mickey Jupp in both The Oriels and Legend, with the Lew Lewis Band and Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack) became the drummer. The bass guitar position was initially held by Mike Steed, then Andy Farrell until 2018 when Nevil Kiddier (formerly of bassist hit makers The Pinkees and Glyder) took up the mantle.